By Shelby Brown —

U of L joined thousands across the country by speaking on inequality against women and expressing solidarity for International Women’s Day.

Women 4 Women Student Board organized a celebration including salsa, poetry readings, belly dancing, Irish step dancing and traditional Indian dancing. Louisville artist Jill Adelson of Bohemian Monkey attended, giving guests free henna tattoos.

“Women really need to be celebrated and empowered during these negative times,” W4W Liason Jamieca Jones said. “At the Women’s Center, we’re always here to support women and our student groups so we’re really excited.”

Louisville artist Jill Adelson gives free henna tattoos to a guest.

U of L student Aaisha Hamid organized the event, U of L’s first International Women’s Day event on campus. Hamid read original poetry about her intersecting identities as a Pakistani-American Muslim woman.

Aaisha Hamid reads from her original book of poetry “Unveil Me.”

“It’s really important to celebrate women and especially today in contemporary society,” Hamid said. “I think that the political environment that’s been created is making it difficult for making it to happen.”

At intermission, guests dined buffet-style on multi-cultural foods catered by Ramsi’s Café on the World, Shalimar Restaurant and Carali’s Rotisserie Chicken.

U of L sophomore Leah Nelson sang covers of Andra Day’s “Rise Up” and David Guetta’s “Titanium.”

The Louisville Irish Dancers performed soft and hard shoe traditional dances, talking about Ireland during the British Empire when dancing and socializing were mostly outlawed. That, the dancers said, is why most traditional Irish dancing is done with straight arms: to fool anyone “walking past a window.”

Cardinal Bhangra also performed traditional Indian dancing at the event. The group performs across Kentucky, celebrating Indian culture.

Cardinal Bhangra dancers perform at International Women’s Day event.

The VILLE Casineras, Louiville’s all-ladies salsa dance team, performed Reuda. Reuda is a particular salsa with dancers moving in a circle, using intricate combinations and constant movement for visual effect.

VILLE Casineras dance the Reuda.

The event ended with belly dancing from Alohomora Dance.

Belly dancers perform from Alohomora Dance.

Photos by Shelby Brown / The Louisville Cardinal